Count for this day in the evening of the date shown above.
Counting the Omer began the second night of Passover, which was on April 9, 2020. The last day of counting is May 27, 2020.
day 20 of the Omer: qualities of focus
The third week of the Omer is focused on beauty and balance (Tiferet). The quality of Tiferet is particularly about the balancing of open-heartedness, and the discipline of healthy boundaries.
The sixth day of the week is focused on connection and creativity. (Yesod).
The twentieth day of the Omer is a reminder of our renewable nature, and of our unique, beautiful, inter-connectedness.
the blessing for counting the Omer
It’s traditional to say a blessing each evening, followed by reciting which day it is in the Omer journey. Here’s the blessing in English, feminized Hebrew, and the traditional masculine Hebrew. Use whichever Hebrew and/or English versions work for you!
English version of the blessing
Blessed are you, Eternal One-ness, Source and Breath of All Life, that has made us holy with your mitzvot, and compels us to count the Omer.
If you prefer feminine God language in Hebrew:
בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ רוּחַ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בִּמְצַוְּתָהּ וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר
B’rukhah at Yah Eloheynu khay ha’olamim asher kideshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.
If you prefer masculine God language, or just like the traditional way of saying the blessing:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹמֶר
Baruch ata adonai, eloheynu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al seﬁrat ha-omer.
here’s today’s count, in Hebrew (transliterated), and English.
Ha-yom es’rim yom, shehem shnei shavuot v’shishah yamim la-omer.
Today is twenty days, which marks two weeks and six days of the Omer.
Let me know if you have any questions. I’ve never done this before via blog post, and need your help to make sure everything works.
prefer Hebrew script?
If you prefer to read the blessing and count using Hebrew text, check out this app.
Or look in your favorite siddur (prayer book). It can often be found at the end of the evening service.
today’s poetic meditation
I’m posting a poetic meditation for each day to enhance the journey. Each meditation is focused on the kabbalistic qualities (sefirot) associated with the day.
The kabbalists often used the image of gates to describe the portals of consciousness represented by the sefirot, and that’s reflected in the ending to each of the meditations.
The kabbalists also often referenced the Tree of Life, upon which the sefirot are represented by the trunk and branches.
Some people like to read the meditations when they say the blessing at night. Others like to contemplate them in the morning to provide spiritual nourishment for the day’s activities.
Experiment, and see what works for you!
Yesod b’tiferet: re-connection
Grasses grow curly and straight. Sometimes one comes up from its shaft and wraps itself around a branch, or a lily pad, or the paddle of a canoe. Hair grows curly and straight, its proclivity to wind determined ﬁrst by the shaft, then by humidity and human intervention. Like grass, hair can be thick or thin, shiny and smooth, or coarse and crinkly. Grass grows because of its attachment to the earth. Our hair grows because of its attachment to us. If grass, where it grows, is like the earth’s hair, our hair, when it grows, is like the body’s grassy layer, protective and decorative, notable in its presence, or absence. We may like our hair, or absence thereof, or not, but there it is, attached to us, and since we are attached to it and spring from the Source of Life, it, and we, grow. From what source does your own growth appear? In what ways can you see its beauty? To what attachments do you attribute the unique directions of your life? Wind your way through the grasses here at the 20th Gate.
Copyright Shifrah Tobacman, 2012.
prefer to hold a book in your hand?
You might be interested in Rabbi Shifrah’s collection Omer/Teshuvah: 49 Poetic Meditations for Counting the Omer or Turning Toward a New Year. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy!